Difference between Cilia and Microvilli – Comparison Table

cilia vs microvilli

Cilia vs Microvilli
Difference between Cilia and Microvilli

Cilia and microvilli are special types of protuberances from the surface some eukaryotic cells with specific functions such as movement, sensory functions or facilitating absorption.

Cilia (singular – Cilium) are narrow and long hair like protuberances from the apical surface of some epithelial cells. Cilia are made up of microtubules with a length of 5 to 10 µm and 0.2 µm in diameter.

Microvilli (singular – Microvillus) are microscopic cellular membrane protrusions that increase the surface area for absorption. Numerous microvilli together act as a structure called ‘Brush Borders’. The brush borders are abundantly present on the epithelial cells of the small intestine where they facilitate the absorption.

what if cilia and microvilli

The present post discusses the Difference between Cilia and Microvilli with a Comparison Table.

Difference between Cilia and Microvilli

Sl. No.CiliaMicrovilli
1Cilia are narrow and long hair like structures arise from epithelial cells.Microvilli are membrane protuberances arise from epithelial cells.
2Cilia arise from the basal granules.Basal granules are absent in microvilli.
3Cilia are cylindrical with tapering ends.Microvilli are cylindrical with blunt ends.
4Cilia are longer than microvilli.Microvilli are shorter than cilia.
5Cilia are thinner than microvilli.Microvilli are thicker than cilia.
6Cilia are NOT covered with glycocalyx.Microvilli usually covered with a coat of glycocalyx.
7Cilia are motile, move back and forth to propel the fluid in one direction.Microvilli are not motile.
8Cilia show 9 + 2 arrangement in its ultrastructure.Microvilli do not have 9 + 2 arrangement.
9Cilia occur on the cell lining of the trachea and large bronchi.Microvilli occur on the cells lining of the small intestine.
10Cilia do not have any role in absorption.Microvilli facilitate absorption.
11Cilia does not increase the surface area of cells on which they are presentMicrovilli increase the surface area of cells on which they are present

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